KARACHI: Pakistan T20I skipper Shahid Afridi has given a clear hint that there will be changes in the side for the third and deciding game of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand on Friday.
Visitors Pakistan won the first match but New Zealand bounced back in style, beating the Men in Green by 10 wickets in the second T20I.
The decider will be Pakistan’s last T20I ahead of the World T20 in India in March.
“We would definitely try to change our combination for the decider as we want to win the series,” said Afridi. “In the last match, our bowling was not up to the mark and that cost us the game. However, we would try to make amends and make sure that we give a good display in the last T20I.”
Pakistan’s bowling was bolstered by the return of Mohammad Amir and Umar Gul when the series began but the two, along with the rest of the bowling attack, were made to look ordinary by openers Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson. The New Zealand duo put on an unbeaten 171-run stand, the highest partnership in the shortest format of the game, to chase down Pakistan’s 169-run target.
The leg-spinning all-rounder hopes for a better showing from his bowlers in the powerplay. “We didn’t bowl well in the first six overs and that set the tone for the Kiwis to score freely,” he said. “Both Gul and Amir are making their comebacks but they are experienced and we were expecting a better showing.”
Afridi went on to praise the New Zealand openers for the way they played but felt his bowlers deviated from the plan. “When you don’t work according to the plan, you can end up being on the wrong end of a beating,” he said.
“We’ll try to improve our execution and hopefully this time we would stick to our plans. However, the way New Zealand went about their business, even 200 wouldn’t have been enough. Still, I believe that had he we stuck to our plan, we could have defended the total.”
Pakistan are likely to bring in all-rounder Anwar Ali in place of the out-of-sorts Sohaib Maqsood, while Sarfraz Ahmed can be promoted up the order to Maqsood’s position at number three.
The skipper further stated that he is aiming to make his last match in New Zealand memorable by performing with both bat and ball.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing in New Zealand as it has been a great country for me,” he said. “I would try to make it memorable for myself by doing well with both bat and ball.”